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  • #2177146

    Licensing Question – OEM Software


    by tink56 ·

    An employee is trying to save a couple dollars asked me about this today and I don’t really know what to tell him.

    He has two older computers at home which he doesn’t use any more. Each of them came with Microsoft Office.

    He wants to buy his daughter a new computer.

    Can he…

    1. Order the new computer WITHOUT Microsoft Office.
    2. Remove Microsoft Office from one of the older, unused PCs.
    3. Install that version of Office on the new PC.

    I’m not sure where to find the information, but somehow I’m thinking it would still be some sort of licensing violation.

    Also, does an older version of Office (probably Office 97) play well with Windows XP Home(the most likely OS she will be getting).

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    • #3352524

      Reply To: Licensing Question – OEM Software

      by ·

      In reply to Licensing Question – OEM Software

      Short answer: No.

      This can vary. The specific OEM software license dictates the terms. In the case of MS OEM software, the license says it cannot be transferred to any other piece of hardware.

      Here’s a link:

      By the terms: If the user bought his own copy at a retail store, he has an MS retail license. He could then install it on one machine, remove it, and install it on another machine.

      By the terms: If the MS Office that came with the old PCs was under a retail license instead of an OEM license, he could still transfer it to another PC.

      Opinion: This is abusive and something only a monopoly could ever get away with. Consumers shouldn’t have to buy the same product twice. If you had a choice, you wouldn’t buy it again.

      If you buy a stereo system and it comes with headphones, then you buy another stereo system, you should be able to use the old headphones on the new stereo. And, you can.

      If you buy a CD player and it comes with a music CD, then you buy another CD player, you should be able to use the old CD on the new CD player. And you can.

      But, those are the rules for MS OEM licenses. And, I don’t know of any issues with Office 97 and Windows XP compatibility. But, ’97 is eight (!) years old now!

      —–Steve Jackson

      Software Corporation (Softcorp)
      Advanced pro bono tools and utilities free for personal use

    • #3352521

      Reply To: Licensing Question – OEM Software

      by tink56 ·

      In reply to Licensing Question – OEM Software

      This question was closed by the author

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